October 1, 2019


'Future success of US beef industry in Asia'


Asia is where the future success of the US beef industry lies, the president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association stressed when she testified recently about the current state of the cattle industry before the US Senate committee on agriculture, nutrition and forestry.


Jennifer Houston on Wednesday, Sept. 25, also stressed the importance of foreign trade, better access to lucrative foreign markets like Japan and China, and the need for Congress to approve the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.


"The future success of the US beef industry relies on competitive market access to a growing consumer base in Asia," Houston testified.


"In 2018, we sold over $8 billion of US beef to foreign consumers, with one-quarter of those sales coming from Japan", she said.


"We also still need Congress to ratify the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement as soon as possible to send a message to the rest of the world that the United States is open for business", she added.


In a separately prepared statement in support of the US-Japan Trade Agreement, which was finalised also on Sept. 25, Houston encouraged both countries to sign and implement the bilateral trade agreement as soon as possible.


"For the past few years, US beef producers have benefitted greatly from growing demand for US beef in Japan", she said.


However, US beef is subject to a hefty 38.5% tariff. "Removing that tariff allows more Japanese consumers to enjoy more US beef at a more competitive price. Today's announcement (on the final agreement) is welcome news for American families who produce US beef and Japanese families who purchase it."


Japan purchased $2.07 billion of US beef last year and is the No. 1export market for US beef. In contrast, US chicken exports to Japan in 2018 was valued at $32.5 billion. -Rick Alberto